Children need more play, not more school

The Solana Beach School Board’s recent decision to extend the school day in the Global Education kindergarten class without the input of those in the program came as a bit of a shock to me.

As a parent in the program, I do my best to support the school. In addition to volunteering, donating and sending my children to class well prepared and ready to learn, I make it a point not to question the actions and decisions of their teachers and school administrators.

That doesn’t make me feel special. I feel surrounded — in all of Solana Beach — by parents who are somewhere between highly and extremely supportive of our schools. We contribute, I think, to school/parent cooperation as best we can.

Addressing the role of educators in that partnership, the president of the Parent Institute, John H. Wherry, Ed. D., writes, “Parent involvement boosts student achievement. Communication with parents must be two-way. It is important to treat parents as partners.”

I think it’s evident that the parents in the Global Ed. community want to be part of decisions about the program. Neglecting to involve them is, if you believe Dr. Wherry, the same as impeding student achievement.

It’s clear that the decision to extend the kindergarten school day was not made in the best way. It may not be the best decision, either.

According to an article in the May 2 edition of the Solana Beach Sun, SBSD Superintendent Nancy Lynch says that “research shows that all children benefit from full day kindergarten.” While that may be true in the short run, the most comprehensive independent study on the subject I have found points to some negative long-term effects.

The study, in which the RAND corporation analyzes data on over 21,000 children, finds that any gains in achievement obtained from full-day kindergarten are eliminated by the end of third grade and that economically disadvantaged students do not receive extra benefits from the extra hours of school. It also concludes that by the fifth grade, children who went to a full-day kindergarten do worse in mathematics than those who were in a part-day program.

What I found most troubling, though, was that “children who participated in a full-day kindergarten program demonstrated poorer dispositions toward learning, lower self-control, and poorer interpersonal skills than children in part-day programs.”

The RAND study calls these “non-academic school readiness skills” and finds them very important for academic success. They resemble what child development specialists call “executive function.” The consensus among the experts seems to be that executive function develops best through play. My conclusion is that what our children need is not more school but more play.

Maj Rundlett

Solana Beach

Related posts:

  1. Solana Beach School District to offer Transitional Kindergarten
  2. Del Mar school district’s Children’s Creative Workshop replaced with summer enrichment program
  3. Del Mar school district parents ask for early kindergarten admittance
  4. Solana Beach: Solana Santa Fe school sees results with program designed to help prevent bullying
  5. Expert to discuss middle school years at Skyline School’s ‘Parent Education Night’

Short URL: http://www.delmartimes.net/?p=50574

Posted by Staff on May 10, 2013. Filed under Letters, Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Archives

Facebook

Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

LA JOLLA NEWS

RSS LA JOLLA NEWS

  • FRONTLINE CANCER: Exercise, exercise, exercise!
    Regular exercise improves health in ways most of us already know. It helps control weight, maintain strong bones, muscles and joints, reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and premature death. Exercise quite literally makes us feel better, physically and mentally. […]
  • Hunger Games in the Real World
    At age 6, Nya, a girl living in San Diego, was suffering from malnourishment because her father, a single parent was struggling to raise (and feed) his children on an $11-an-hour job. For long periods of time their cupboards were bare, and Nya, who is now 18, subsisted on a diet of ramen noodles and free lunches provided by her charter school. She was in cri […]
  • Fall brings the call to learn something new
    Local gems like UCSD Extension, Osher Lifelong Learning, La Jolla Community Center and La Jolla Library all offer a variety of opportunities for personal growth — and all welcome newcomers. […]

RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

RSS RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

  • Rancho Santa Fe Invasive Plants and Better Alternatives
    By Steve Jacobs, Nature Designs In California we are lucky to live in a mild climate that allows us to grow amazing landscapes. Because of this mild climate, plants from other parts of the world often thrive; and some grow so well they become known as invasive. These plants ‘jump fences’ and ‘throw seeds.’ Their […]
  • Rancho Santa Fe School District’s robotics program receives new funding
    The Rancho Santa Fe School District is making its school’s robotics program more robust this year, allocating $42,500 in stipends to staff coaches just like the district does for its athletics program. “I think the program has taken a big step,” said Superintendent Lindy Delaney. “I think we’re on our way toward developing a great program there.” John Galipa […]
  • Back to School for R. Roger Rowe students
    Students at R. Roger Rowe School bid a fond farewell to summer and headed back to school Aug. 25. Photos by Jon Clark. […]